Attention deficit disorder is a serious disorder and it is not going away. It causes depression, inattentiveness, relationship and behavorial problems, deviant behavior (crime), can lead to drug abuse, alcoholism and even suicide. To better understand this disorder and correct it there are 8 steps we must follow:
1. Education. ADD can manifest itself in several different ways all depending upon the areas of the brain affected. Basically, ADD is caused by abnormalities in the cortex region of the brain. These abnormalities are mostly genetic, but can also result from head trauma. The afflicted area is underdeveloped slightly – not enough to cause autism or retardation. This underdeveloped area in the cortex directly affects attention span, energy (lethargy), even quality of life. This is an actual confirmable medical condition.
2. Get medical help. Do not wait. ADD can rob the sufferer of quality of life. Go to a doctor that specializes in conditiond like ADD. Upon confirming the diagnosis for ADD they will among other things refer you to support groups. This is important as ADD can be very trying on a family. They will also determine if medication like Ridalin and Adderall are necessary.
3. Nutrition. Eat a well balanced diet. Take multi-vitamins and drink plenty of water. Multi-vitamins are a necessity as many of our foods are lacking in nutritional value. Recent research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids (like those found in salmon) not only promote a healthy heart, but also increase brain functioning and health. Many people in Okinawa on a diet compromising mostly rice and fish lived to be 100+ years old and maintained full mental acuity. They were found to have much lower incidences of mental diseases and conditions including ADD. Take a multivitamin, eat well balanced meals, and take omega-3 supplements.
4. Hydration. The brain is 85% water and when the water intake is insufficient the brain will become dehydrated and sluggish. During dehydration the neurons and synapses in the brain cannot transfer important chemicals and impulses for memory, thought and cognition. Proper hydration is even more important in ADD sufferers as they have underdeveloped lobes of the cortex that are more sensatized to the effects of dehydration. It is generally accepted that 8-10 glasses of water per day is warranted for proper mental functioning and will help with ADD sufferers as the symptoms of ADD will worsen due to dehydration.
5. Plan. Plan your day. ADD sufferers tend to be the biggest procrastinators. They can’t focus as well and tend to put things off. Use a day planner and make lists, checking off tasks as they are completed. This will help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that surrounds ADD.
6. Realize. Realize that ADD is not retardation. ADD does not mean someone is slow or unlearned. On the contrary, some of the smartest geniuses in history have had ADD. ADD makes it 10 times harder to stay focused on mental tasks than normal people, but when treated properly and taught how to cope with their condition ADD sufferers in numerous tests have been proven to be able to compete equally with non-sufferers and, in some cases, greatly out perform. There was a documented case of one individual whom, due to his undiagnosed ADD, never paid attention in elementary, middle, or high school. This individual ended up dropping out of highschool and was seen as a deviant. This individual then through proper diagnosis learned they had ADD, learned how to deal with it. Then took it upon themselves to learn what they didn’t in the public school system. In two weeks they were able to obtain a real diploma, not a GED, and go to college. Whats even more amazing is that this dropout eventually ended up attending an Ivy league University! Just like underdeveloped muscles, the brain through much effort can be taught to overcompensate for underdeveloped areas.
7. Learn. Learn the art of memorization and studying. For ADD sufferers studying and mental tasks are 10 times harder to focus on. By learning memory techniques like associations, linking, lists, etc… and learning to become adept with them will make ADD easier. A great book to read is Harry Lorayne’s Memory Book. It should be required learning for everyone in highschool. If the learning process can be made into a a game understanding, comprehension, and attention will all increase.
8. Meditation, controlled discipline and prayer. Stress and anxiety have been shown to play a large role with ADD sufferers. Both meditation and prayer have been shown to be very benefitial as they increase the attention span and have a dramatic soothing, calming effecton the sufferer. Discipline is very important with the ADD sufferer. Hidy Ochai, an internationally reknowned karate master states in his books that proper discipline in kids with ADD is essential to proper adult development. Karate is a very effective tool for the ADD sufferer. As it provides exercise, discipline, goal development and accomplisment, focus and self respect. ADD sufferers will do well to learn what meditation, controlled discipline, and prayer can offer them.
These eight steps are essential for the attainment of the proper quality of life for ADD sufferers. ADD can be treated and dealt with.